Rinzy’s Reviews ‘Mile 22’ (2018)

Release Date: Aug. 17, 2018.

Budget/ Box-Office: $60M/ $64.7M

Starring: Mark Walhberg, Lauren Cohan, John Malkovich, Iko Uwais, et al.

***

The award for the movie with the ‘best fake couple in fiction’ should go to the duo of Lauren Cohan and . The instant they take off their facade and get to the real reason they were at the house, you’re left wondering What tha fuck did I just watch?!

On the surface, Mile 22 is a movie about all the things that can go wrong while moving from one point to another. It isn’t a groundbreaking movie. It’s an espionage thriller and that’s all there is to it; not even the twist at the end is enough to save it from being labelled cliche; and with its critical and commercial bomb, it getting a sequel is looking unlikely. 

Ironically, the one thing I hated the most about this movie is the same thing that’s supposed to be its greatest strength – the lead character, James ‘Jimmy’ Silva, as played by Mark Wahlberg. The snarky, non-ending, mindless, insensitive commentaries were extremely annoying and almost unbearable for me to watch. I get the character’s been through a lot of grief in life, but come on! Maybe it’s just Walhberg’s interpretation I don’t like. It’s funny because I actually don’t hate him, yet. 😌 

 Good thing Lauren Cohan’s Alice (of The Walking Dead fame) was there to save the day. Her performance here gets me hopeful for her post-TWD days in Hollywood, which isn’t far away any more. 

 Iko Uwais’s performance is also deserving of praise. He gifted me my second favorite sequence in the movie – the fight at the embassy’s infirmary – and I thought his reveal as a triple agent was cool.

Even though Miles 22 poses as an espionage thriller, it really is a movie about loss, grief, and the lengths some people would go to get revenge. The longrunning beef between America and Russia in movies, double agenting and family are the most pronounced tags that appear throughout this movie. 

If you’re a sucker for mindless action, Miles 22 is for certain to make you happy, especially since it sets the stage for a sequel. But if, like some of us, you crave a little more attention to production details, like fight scene editing, then be rest assured it’d leave a little sour taste in your mouth at the end.

Directed by: Peter Berg

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘The Equalizer 2’ (2018)

Release Date: July 20, 2018

Budget/ Box-Office: $79M/ $190.2M

Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Paschal, Ashton Sanders, Melissa Leo, Bill Pullman, et al.

***

2014’s The Equalizer was an interesting action movie. I mean, who wasn’t thrilled watching Denzel Washington seriously kick ass? It wasn’t until the end of the movie most of us realized we hadn’t really learnt anything. After all, not every movie is billed to educate; sometimes, entertainment is simply enough. Well, by the time this sequel arrives four years later, most of us aren’t really interested in watching Denzel’s character, Robert McCall, secretly still go about avenging injustice. Now, this isn’t to instantly dismiss The Equalizer 2 as being a shitty movie/sequel, it’s just a case of acquired fatigue revisiting the same formula over and over again. 

 When we meet Robert McCall at the start of this movie, he’s still avenging but now has a side job, which he’s really into, as a Lyft driver. Man’s got bills to pay, right? 

In a somewhat desperate attempt to justify getting a sequel and get things running again action wise, the scriptwriter kills off Mr. McCall’s buddy instrumental to the success of his mission in the last movie and the one who gives him the cases he goes about passionately avenging, Susan Plummer. Soon, the real action begins, and we’re thrown into the time-old story of friendship and betrayal.

One of the things I’ve always like about Robert McCall, asides his obviously cool fighting techniques, is the enigma behind his laudable detective skills. Take for instance, the time he visits the scene of the murder-suicide Susan was investigating before her death, and psychically replays everything that happened in his head, I thought that was some Misty Knight level of stunt. But considering this isn’t a Marvel movie, I couldn’t help but wonder why the origin of that skill hasn’t yet been addressed, two movies into the franchise. 

One good thing this movie does for Mr. McCall is that it further fleshes his backstory: and hints on something’s from his days in the CIA. Someone please tell Pedro Paschal it’s about time in his career he stops playing mostly villains. The moment I saw him in this movie, I figured he’d be playing the bigbad, and I wasn’t wrong. Such stereotype type isn’t really good for business.

Is The Equalizer 2 entertaining? Yes.

Is it better than the first one? A big NO!

Does the world need another one? A bigger No!

Favorite quote: 

“Who the fuck is this guy?”

“I’m your father, your mother just never told you about me.”

Directed by: Antoine Puqua

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’ Season 1 (2018)

Release Date: Oct. 26, 2018.

Network: Netflix/ 10 episodes/ 60 minutes

Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis, Chance Personal, et al.

***

Sabrina Spellman is a human-witch hybrid, and must reconcile her dual nature while fighting the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabits.

When we first meet Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka), she’s days away from her 16th birthday and at a place in her life where she needs to make the important decision of accepting to be baptized in the unholy ways of The Dark Lord. 

As one of the few half witches in existence, courtesy of her human mom, she’s had the opportunity to live the mundane life of a mortal, but must now decide to be baptised in the unholy ways of The Dark Lord and continue her father’s legacy at the Academy of Unseen Arts, where Satan gives great powers in exchange for personal freedom. Things don’t go as planned and, soon, we’re introduced to the rebellious part of Sabrina.

If you’re a staunch Christian with zero tolerance for demonic acts, fiction or reality, you should know by now this show isn’t for you. This was the warning a friend gave, the day the show dropped, to members of the public who weren’t familiar with the Archie comic property. Having seen it, I totally agree with him. Satan and all of his wiles as dismissed by the Bible are highly advertised. His name is repeatedly mentioned in the light and God, as we know Him, referred to as the enemy. So, this might require a little bit of getting used to. πŸ˜‰ 

One questioned raised early into the show is what makes Sabrina so special she’s unabashedly courted by The Dark Lord and his minions? 

After the stunt she played on the night of her unholy baptism, one wouldn’t be wrong to say her head should’ve been used to decorate a pike. Surprisingly, instead of a reprimand, she’s granted admission into the Academy of Unseen Arts on a platter in further attempts by The Dark Lord’s minions to get her one step closer. And, although she gets too distracted by love, lust and rebellious acts of necromancy to really heed the advice her human lawyer in witch cases, Mr. Webster, gave her in the third episode, I wonder why the devil would grant someone so defiant to his will the opportunity to access tools that could actually defeat him?

No explicit answer is given to this question; hopefully, we’ll get one next season. But the one attribute of Sabrina I believe makes her powerful is her love for humans (mortals, as the show refers to them). Her uncommon compassion easily shines through in all her deeds; I mean, she refused to take her vows and attend the Academy of Unseen Arts if it meant leaving her friends behind. The bad thing about this is that in the name of preserving this love and friendship, she does some very dark things… like in episode 8 when she kills someone. πŸ˜“

She’s naive, compassionate and desperate, and I believe these combination of traits make her a deadly threat against the show’s ultimate villain. 

One of the things that makes Chilling Adventures of Sabrina further interesting is its cheesiness, and the fact that it doesn’t take itself too serious in spite of this. Some characters, such as Madam Satan, easily come across as persky; her persistence in immersing herself in all things Sabrina appear annoying almost as soon as it started. But the truth is, it’s very easy to forgive and get lost in the fun. After the character’s secret ties to the occult is exposed to Sabrina in episode 5, it becomes easier watching her do her thing, which is being a willing guardian of some sort to Sabrina at the command of the Dark Lord… Who else is feeling Harry Potter vibes each time I say The dark Lord? 😁

The show deserves applause for its production. The ominous feel of the cinematography is everything delicious and a delight to feast on. The wonderful cast certainly deserves accolades too. Every one, even the cat (Salem), lizard and spiders used as familiar, were perfect in their roles. 😁. Kiernan Shipka easily shines as Sabrina. Being that the comic book character has been adapted so many times, she still finds a way to make it hers. 

The supporting characters, too, aren’t left out of this praise. The other Spellmans are at the receiving end of my highest praises – Zilda, Hilda, Harvey, Ambrose (my favorite πŸ€—). Also, Prudence, Father Blackwood and Madam Satan are on this commendation list. Everyone’s terrifically suited for the part they play.

Every episode is beautifully crafted; the writing, atmosphere and props are all wonderfully interwoven to create this believable piece of art. The production quality of the show is fair. CGI isn’t employed very much, but when it is, like the times The Dark Lord appear in the flesh, it’s decent. 

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a worthy binge-watch, one that’s more entertaining that it ever attempts to educate. 

Side notes

1. Sabrina’s good friends all have ties to the supernatural. The full extent of their powers aren’t yet shown, but I can’t wait for that to happen.

2. Everytime Father Blackwood and the other faithfuls reference the false god, I always got choked with laughter.

3. It was amusing see Michael Hogan as a witchhunter in episode 7. He’s best known of wolf hunter Gerald Argent on the MTV hitshow Teen Wolf. Seeing him made me wonder if the only role he gets to play these days are those of hunters. 😁

4. I disliked the season finale a bit. The story was made extra cheesy, too much for even me to swallow. πŸ˜“. But we were left in a place where you’re sure the future will be different from what we were given in season one.

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5